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Dr Ashok Malhotra




I received my doctorate in History from the University of Edinburgh in 2009. My monograph Making British Indian Fictions, 1772-1823 was published by Palgrave Macmillan in June 2012 This book used fictional representations of India produced in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century to investigate how Britons residing both in the metropole and in India justified, confronted and imagined the colonial encounter during this period. It also deployed fictional texts as case studies that illuminate trends taking place within Britain such as the growing consumption of Indian-style imported goods and the commoditisation of an Indian aesthetic within British visual culture.

I am currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick's Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. My project Conjuring India: Authors, Publishers and Readers, 1814-1899 examines novels and short stories produced by British authors who resided in India during the nineteenth century. It deploys interdisciplinary scholarly techniques, such as historical archival methods, literary textual analysis and art criticism, to establish the degree to which authors produced stereotypes about India and its inhabitants to satisfy commercial considerations. Thus it draws on the considerable correspondence between publishers and editors of literary publications with authors, to explore how pressure was exerted to depict India in a certain fashion. By engaging in a textual analysis of the fictional narratives the study identifies the stock tropes of India that were repeatedly promoted to the reading public by authors and publishers. Conjuring India also examines how and where editors/publishers marketed the texts and their 'Indianised' authors. A further concern of this study is to identify how illustrations were deployed to complement India narratives and capture the attention of readers.

Prior to taking up this research fellowship at the University of Warwick I was an Assistant Professor in World History at a private liberal college in Viet Nam from 2011-2012. I have also acted as a course organiser from 2009-2011 for a pre-honours South Asian Studies course at the University of Edinburgh. This is in addition to serving as module convenor from 2010-11 for an honours course which compared and contrasted the nationalist movements which emerged in the twentieth century in East Africa and India.



Malhotra, A. Making British Indian Fictions, 1772-1823 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)


Malhotra, A. 'Performing Imperial Masculinity in the British Theatre in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century' in Cultural and Social History vol. 9 no. 2 (June: 2012) pp. 227-250

Malhotra, A. 'Book-History Approaches to India: Representations of the Subcontinent in Novels and Verse, 1780-1821' in History Compass vol. 8/2 (Feb: 2010) pp. 143-151